Make Water Conservation Part of Your Back to School Routine

The kids have been back in school a few weeks now: send this one off to daycare, that one on the school bus; soccer practice, homework, dinner time, story time, and bedtime. And then somewhere in between there’s family time… Oh and everywhere you look, someone’s encouraging you to, “Save the planet!” and to “Go green!”

That last part — that part gets a little lost most of the time. There’s only one of you, and to be honest you’re kind of unsure what you could do to really make an impact. But it’s easier than you might think. As you settle back into your new old routine, a few tips to help conserve water:

Limit shower time.

Literally, set a timer. By limiting everything to ten minutes or less, you’ll save water while also keeping everyone focused and on time in the morning. You might also consider replacing your existing showerhead with a high-efficiency model for even greater water savings.

Reuse your towels.

Bath towels are used to dry clean bodies, so there’s no need to wash every time. Instead of tossing that still-mostly-fresh towel into the hamper, hang it up to dry and re-use tomorrow. To encourage this practice, you can buy hooks or extra rods to hang in the bathroom, and designate a spot for each family member to place his towel.

Ask yourself, “Is this really dirty?”

Chances are the jeans you wore for an hour yesterday — nope, they don’t need to be washed. As you undress from the day, ask yourself, “Is this really dirty? Can this be worn again?” Not only will you be saving tons of water, but time and energy too. (When it is laundry day, choose the appropriate load size and use cold water whenever possible.)

Minimize the use of your garbage disposal.

As convenient as they can be, in-sink garbage disposal units require quite a bit of water to work properly, and add considerably to the amount of solid waste present in your septic tank, which can then lead to additional maintenance (and additional costs). Consider starting a compost heap as an alternative.

Make sure your water pipes are insulated.

Most are not. Hot water pipes that are not properly insulated can result in heat loss, and will require the water heater to work harder, which then increases water consumption and energy costs. And while you’re at it: Cold water pipes should be insulated just as well, to prevent freezing and bursts.

My Plumber Heating & Cooling is the go-to plumbing expert for northern Virginia and southern Maryland, and is standing by to answer any questions you may have about proper pipe insulation and general water conservation.

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